What Did You Like (or Not) About the Festival?

May 16th, 2010 | By Don

We’re working hard to keep the name of Blind Willie McTell alive, so please let us know what you thought of the 17th Annual Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival.

What did you like? What could have been better?

To give us your feedback, click on “Comments” below this post.

31 Responses to “What Did You Like (or Not) About the Festival?”

  1. Susan Thigpen says:

    Bliind Willie 17 was absolutely super! You guys do a great job and it was a wonderful day of sunshine and music. Lots of sunshine and lots of music and good friends to share it with. I would like to suggest that you try to book Madcat & Cane (Chicago) again and also some local guys – Shamelss Dave And The Miricle Whips. Both groups crank out the blues and would make great additions to your line up for future festivals.

  2. Gradock says:

    What a great day. Diverse and entertaining lineup. Magic Slim tore down the house! I don’t mind that the festival has expanded a bit beyond traditional Blues, but hope that the blues remains the core of the festival. The volunteers were amazing (as usual), friendly, helpful and an important part of the fabric of the festival. Food was good, beer was cold, and the venue was spotless–not an ant in sight ;-)
    The whole show–great entertainment–and great entertainment value.

  3. David Carrad says:

    Food and grounds were great, but you really need to get back to your roots and make this a BLUES festival. I was disappointed in how many of the bands wandered off the track and will not be returning unless you go back to an all-blues lineup.

  4. Thomas says:

    All was great.

    Thanks for the choice of more interesting beers (not just the old bud and bud lite). Food was great. Safe & secure. Well organized parking and gate procedures. Switching between acts was efficient. Good announcing and down-to-earth handling of the whiners who were complaining about the tents being in their way (no, I was not a tenter, but could see that the whiners had nothing to crab about)…The way that was handled set the pace for a laid-back day. Nice layout of the vendors, clean portapotties, and relieving water spray. Delta Moon and Magic Slim were the best!

    #1 suggestion: an area, maybe to the left or right of the stage, for dancing (has to be relatively flat).

    #2 suggestion: how about more acoustic acts, more traditional, such as Kelly Joe Phelps, or other back-to-the-basic artists? Just to mix it up more. Otis Taylor is not one of those, but if he were to be on the line-up some year, I wouldn’t need to ever go to heaven.

    But if were to simply be as good as this year, however you plan it, it would still be fantastic. I plan to bring more buddies next year.

    Thanks for asking…………Tom

  5. Mike Fritz says:

    Magic slim was terrific!!!

  6. Dave says:

    My family had a great time on our first trip to “Blind Willie Mctell.” I thought ya’ll put out a great product. I do agree with many of the comments prior. . .in particular, the call for more “traditional blues,” but overall it was a great show. Our favorites were probably the young lady who came onstage to sing with the Odafe Trio, Magic Slim, and Delta Moon. One other thing, it seemed that the booth selling posters either shut down early or sold out, I wasn’t sure which, but we were unable to get one. Is it still possible to order one? Thanks again for a great time!

  7. Tom Craft says:

    Another great show. I too would like more blues (and much less jazz). Please consider The Nighthawks for next year, and you ought to get Johnny Winter while he’s still able to perform. See you next year!

  8. Wayne Hicks says:

    This was my third year and if I had to walk from Columbia SC I would. Every year gets better and better the food is always great and the crowd was bigger this year than the past two. One band I would suggest from here in SC is Elliott and the Untouchables

  9. Roodles says:

    Great fest as usual. We’ve been to 7 or 8 of these and continue to bring new friends with us. Food was excellent, great quality,variety and value. ditto on the beer. It’s a very friendly, relaxing atmosphere. Having been to several, I trust your judgement on the bands. You mix it up from time to time but it has been excellent. Ya’ll have brought great blues talent to the fest over the years. keep doing what you’re doing. thanks for your efforts.

  10. Jake says:

    I think the festival is spectacular every year, particularly this one past, considering where it started 17 years ago. People forget that the “blues” is an attitude just like “rock ‘n roll” or “hard jazz” is an attitude and does not necessarily pertain to a certain genre of music. The people who pick the musicians for the festival have a clear grasp of this concept and typically, with few exceptions, chosen artists who communicate a certain heartache or desperation or “blues”. I think the patrons of the festival should be more open to newer acts that don’t play music in the traditional “blues” form but hurts like the blues nonetheless.

  11. Lyn says:

    May 2010 was my first time at Blind Willie McTell. Wow!! Loved all of it. I got on today looking for this year’s lineup. How about bringing back Mavis Staples? Ruthie Foster would be perfect, too. I’ve never heard her live, but I imagine she’s amazing.

  12. Kim says:

    Lyn – we saw Ruthie Foster with Robben Ford and it was a blast! Both would be excellent in this venue!

  13. JS says:

    The festival was well organized, great music, it was fun! One minor suggestion: why not play Willie’s recordings during the breaks? Unless I missed it, I never heard any of his music coming thru the speakers. Maybe even play some of his contemporaries too, like the great Barbecue Bob, Curly Weave–Georgia blues people!!

    One other thing, the earlier suggestion for Johnny Winter is spot on. And Taj Mahal? And get everybody to do their own version of Statesboro Blues…

    thanks for the great work you do.

  14. JK says:

    We’ve been to the festival many times and do enjoy all of the music including the few non-blues bands. The venue has always been great until this past year when we were unable to see the bands because of the large number of umbrellas all over the hill. We remembered in the past years when people were not even allowed to bring in chairs with high backs. For the enjoyment of everyone attending and keeping them returning each year hope you will consider limiting the umbrellas to the back as do all of the other festivals we attend.

  15. Zorro van Buskirk says:

    DC area blues group performs a bunch of Willie’s songs…..
    Check out Hard Swimmin’ Fish

  16. Patric Parker says:

    I will be there but will not arrive until Marcia Ball’s set. The festival is getting more and more vanilla with less Blues. If you are using a artist management find one who has Delta, Chicago, Mississippi Hill country and other bluesmen from all over the US. I know money is tight but there are plenty on artist who will come. At the King Bisquit there are groups who play on the street for only tips. Umbrellas, no problem. Learn how the sit to the side. The sun is hot in May. pmpnga.

  17. jack says:

    After all these years, I doubt that I will be coming back. What you had, the blues, was one of the greatest ways to spend a day. Perhaps it came down to just not enough money that way. However, I thank you for those past great years and truly do wish you luck with your new Blind Willie country-jazz-rock-blues festival.

  18. Caldonia says:

    Where were the Blues in the Blues part of the festival? No Statesboro Blues every plalyed. I agree that the dance area should be to the sides as they blocked the view and kicked up too much dust and dirt.
    You need to get back to the roots of Blues and play blues. Charlie Musselwhite was great. Maybe some industrial shop fans would be nice as it was close to 100 degrees.
    Thanks and will come back because of Marcia Ball. How about a tribute to all BWM songs? My friend Sue sue says we want David Herrero and Felix Reyes, EG Kight…thanks

  19. salem slim says:

    I finally made it after 3 years of planning to attend.Really liked all the blues acts but i am a fan of ragtime and piedmont blues so i didnt get to see any willie mctell blues. Not many places to see a all blues show of this caliber any more. Thanks for the show and i’ll look for more piedmont artists in the future.

  20. Susan Sanders says:

    I agree with Susan T. There should be a couple local acts on the bill as well.

  21. Someday, somewhere, someone will put together all all acoustic blues festival. This would be a great place to do something like that; Steve James, Paul Geremia, Keb Mo, Corey Harris, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Drink Small, Rory Block, Roy Bookbinder & Leon Redbone. Lightenin’ Wells & Scott Ainsle are top-notch and both from NC. Doc Watson loves the blues and does great covers, he’s getting up in years and doesn’t travel very far but some of these folks would jump at the chance to play in a more acoustic setting. Glad to see Marcia Ball here this year!

    I’d also suggest a competition for the best Blind Willie McTell cover amongst the musicians and musical groups. With the crowd voting. That would be a blast. that would be something that could be easily organized for this year. Hope to see everyone in May.

  22. DaveC says:

    Just home from the 18th Annual BWMBF; first visit! Wow! Great music; great venue; great vendors, etc! Great job with the “seating”; tents and umbrellas to the rear, etc. I have to agree with some of the comments from last year. This is a BLUES festival. Although Trombone Shorty was great, it aint da blues! Did yall notice people leaving? And, although the Georgia Horns weren’t necessarily the blues, I do agree with rounding up local talent; and their jazzy sound wasn’t far off. There are literally hundreds of blues players out there; bring em! I can’t agree with playing Statesboro Blues over and over, but some Blind Willie between sets does sound like a great idea. But, overall, a great job by the organizers; keep it up!

  23. Marion says:

    Outstanding festival!!…Good music is good music!….Unfortunately some want to only hear and see what is in their own record collection…Thanks for “Stepping Outside of the Box”.!!……Willie would be proud!!!

  24. tom craft says:

    Several of us have made the hour and 15 minute trip to attend this festival for several years, but we did not come this year. We live 45 minutes from Athens, an hour and a half from Greenville, and two hours from Atlanta. None of these trips are much different from attending your festival. Last year it was announced that your festival would be becoming a music festival instead of a blues festival. Screw that. We can go to any of the above mentioned cities and see live music of various genres. Blues is what got you where you are, and you should stay true to it. We did not come this year (meaning neither did our dollars), and do not anticipate coming back to visit with lineups like this in the future. Please reconsider, and keep the Blind Willie McTell Festival one of the best events in Georgia!

  25. Bruce Brooker says:

    We came from Toronto. I’ll just use one word to describe The Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival…OUTSTANDING. Beautiful day, friendly people made us feel welcome and right at home with that fine southern hospitality!

  26. Joyce Eakin says:

    Loved the may 21, 2011 festival. I came mostly to hear Jimmy Hall. He was great. Hope some others thought so to. I only saw him and his guitar player Jack Pearson but enjoyed Jimmy so much. The crowd by the stage seemed to agree. He was once with Wet Willie but also put out two blues albumns. He can sing the heck out of a blues song if you check out his CDs. Also the old Wet Willie albums are great. Especially Lett Coast Live. Just seeing him and even getting a chance to talk to him was great. He actually invited people to come see him under the tent after his performance.

  27. Cathy Wolfe says:

    We drove from Franklin TN to see the singers we love from our native state of Louisiana. What we did not expect was a wonderful venue that was so relaxing. We loved the small crowds, the polite atmosphere, the cleanest port-o-lets ever and a very relaxing day listening to old favorites and finding some new ones. i cannot wait to see who is in the line up for the next festival. I plan to bring my adult kids. Thanks for such a good time.

  28. Gail Gallaher says:

    Just a suggestion for blues bands…I know you do a great job on the line-up: Rich Delgrsso/John Del Toro RIchardson, Deborah Coleman, JJ Grey and Mofro
    Cya next year.

  29. Allen Byrd says:

    I have lived in the Augusta area for 3 years now and I have been fornuate enough to attend 2 of the Blind Willie McTell festavles and have had a blast at each one. I am a person who appreciates good music played by very good musicans and that is what this festavle is about for me. I am really looking forward to attending the 2012 event and I always tell people about this event so that maybe another person will attend and appreciate what you folks present here. Thanks for what you do to make this a good day for good music.

  30. DaveC says:

    How does one find out about the 2012 Festival? Why is there nothing at this web site? Maybe I’m not holding my feet right or sumthin….

  31. Mary Sicard says:

    Updating the site now. Festival will be Sat., May 19. Thanks for checking.

    Mary